Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. DeConti

Elizabeth DeConti

Shareholder, GrayRobinson, P.A.

Elizabeth DeConti is a Shareholder in the Tampa office of GrayRobinson, P.A. and is a member of the firm's Alcohol Beverage and Food Team. Prior to joining GrayRobinson, she was a partner with the Tampa office of Holland & Knight and a judicial clerk for the Honorable Antoinette L. Dupont, Chief Judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court. She earned her B.A. cum laude and with Distinction in Renaissance Studies from Yale University in 1993 and then received her J.D. cum laude in 1996 from the University of Miami School of Law, where she was a Harvey T. Reid Scholar. Awarded the highest rating assigned by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory "AV", Ms. DeConti focuses her practice on litigation and compliance matters related to the rules, regulation and business practices that govern the marketing, sale, and consumption of malt beverages, wine, distilled spirits, and other regulated products in the alcohol and food industry. She is also a circuit court mediator certified by the Supreme Court of Florida. Ms. DeConti's trial experience includes commercial, franchise, intellectual property, and ADA cases litigated on behalf of major breweries, alcohol suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and other members of the hospitality industry in state and federal courts and administrative agencies throughout the United States. In addition to her court experience, she represents many clients in alternative dispute resolution. She also advises clients on issues pertaining to trade regulation and marketing practices in the food and beverage industry, and concentrates on regulatory compliance, as well as advertising and promotional law. Ms. DeConti also drafts contracts related to advertising, distribution, importation, and related issues associated with the food and beverage industry. Ms. DeConti is a member of The Florida Bar and The Connecticut Bar, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida. Additionally, she is a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association. She is also a frequent lecturer to the alcohol beverage and hospitality industries.

Ms. DeConti can be contacted at 813-273-5000 or edeconti@gray-robinson.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.